2020 was a difficult season. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the season was already paused in March. In August, the second half of the season started, but we never knew for sure which races would continue.
In retrospect, we made the best of it. We can be satisfied, because all the grand tours took place and most one-day races have been organized. The bubble worked well and saved our sport. We should be very happy about that.
My personal view of my season is a bit the same: difficult. I started well with a stage victory in Argentina in the Tour of San Luis. My condition was good and I looked forward to the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. But then there was the COVID-19 outbreak.
The races were first canceled and then given a new date in the autumn. My focus therefore went to August. My condition was good again, I rode a good Strade Bianche and Milan-Sanremo, was good in the national championship and was ready for more.
I also got the good news that I could start in the Tour de France. A dream come true, because it had been a few years since I rode the Tour. However, a knee injury ended that dream. I had to stay off the bike for a long time and the condition was quickly gone.
My new run-up to the classics was therefore not ideal. I had to come back a long way. I also missed races like the Tirreno and Plouay. And in the Binck Bank Tour it was difficult to improve my condition much, because the toughest stage was canceled and the rest of the stages were short.
In the end I was able to finish a few important one-day races. I was happy to be able to race and happy to have been able to work for the team. Unfortunately, due to my lack of condition, I could not think of a personal result.
When the news came in that Paris-Roubaix would definitely not take place, I was fortunately lined up for the Vuelta a Espana. After the Tour of Flanders, I was already in Spain at a quarter past five in the morning and a covid test immediately followed. The start of a difficult first week.
I have suffered. It really didn't go well. I even thought I wouldn't finish the Vuelta. Fortunately I got better after the rest day and after the second everything went well again. I could even compete for a stage win and finished third. That gave me some peace of mind.
I finished the season reasonably well with a reasonably good condition. Now it is time to rest and enjoy with the family. Within two weeks I will start training again for the new season. Let's hope for a better season, but I'm pretty hopeful and positive about that.